It's a tricky time to be a writer, an artist of any kind I'm sure, but I think especially a writer because the thing we work in is words, and there are words that deeply need to be said right now, words like "everything is terrible," and "the president is a liar," and "once again the full weight of America is falling on the most vulnerable," and "it is possible to have a one-on-one meeting with a woman without harassing or assaulting her, but if you're planning to wear only a bathrobe we're starting off on the wrong foot," and "funny you should mention Puerto Rico; did you know that it's actually part of the U.S. and that they still don't have clean running water?" All of these things need to be said and so we're saying them, and while this is the work of a citizen it's not exactly the work of a writer.
For many of us, these aren't the words we're drawn to, these aren't the moments and stories we need to tell. The real work of a writer is to follow the ideas and characters that won't let go, even if those characters and stories are not about the wildfires in California, are not about climate change, are not about whatever new crisis is going to bubble up from the pit of hell this morning (and you know when I say "pit of hell," of course I mean "the white house" which I realize is normally capitalized but I refuse to extend that honor right now).
All this to say: do I have mixed feelings about writing a crown of dinosaur erotica sonnets at this current moment in time? I do! But, it's the work I seem to be doing, and I haven't written any poetry for the past few years, so these are giving me a lot of joy. Maybe you need some joy too.
It always starts with alliteration.
It always starts with a kind of assault.
I might be hunted, ravaged, taken—
pleasure that’s mine to know, but not my fault.
And there is a shame in what I’m after,
the kind of lust time itself would abhor—
violated by velociraptor—
now I’m more animal, more prey than whore.
But isn’t that the delight of it? This
perversion of God’s, of Nature’s laws.
Let me taste that cruel mouth, that bloodiest kiss,
my body flushed beneath those gripping claws.
I’ll give in to the monster, in to the beast.
Show me your tongue, Love. I will be your wretched feast.
See you next Friday for part II.